High school seniors in Lawrence have a chance to feel the excitement of driving away from Project Graduation 2002 in a Jeep Cherokee.
Graduates of Free State High School and Lawrence High School attending the post-graduation event will have an opportunity to enter a drawing to win a 1989 Jeep Cherokee worth about $4,000.
"It's a Limited Edition with the fancy interior," said Gary Bennett, general manger of Laird Noller Automotive, which donated the jeep. "The kids will like it."
That's the tip of the prize iceberg for the annual program, which is 11 p.m. May 26 to 4 a.m. May 27 at The Granada. The event is planned by parents of seniors to offer a safe, alcohol-free environment for graduates to celebrate their achievements.
More than $12,000 in cash will be given away. The prize list includes TVs, VCRs, a sound system, dormitory refrigerator, color printer and canoe trip.
Here's the catch: Partygoers must be present to win.
An estimated 500 seniors are expected to attend.
"It's an opportunity that I'm hoping kids will participate in," Supt. Randy Weseman said. "The fact parents support it the way they do is wonderful."
The Lawrence Journal-World is providing funding for rental of The Granada, a disc jockey and a $500 scholarship.
Another major donor is Coldwell Banker McGrew Real Estate, which helped pay for a pre-party gift for all graduates. Every senior will receive a T-shirt that includes the names of every graduate.
During the gathering, celebrity guests Roy Williams and Mark Mangino will help coordinate game activities.
Williams, fresh off taking the KU Jayhawks to the Final Four, will tutor students on basketball free-throw shooting. The football-toss will be coordinated by Mangino, in his first year as the Jayhawks' football coach.
Other games include pool, casino-type activities and party pictures.
Tickets can be purchased during senior recognition, commencement practices and at the door. A photo ID is required for admission to the party and to claim prizes.
For information about the party, contact Jan Criswell at 843-0235. Businesses or individuals interested in donating to the event may contact Ann Johnson at 865-0776.